10 Ways COVID-19 Is Affecting the Life and Annuity Distribution World

One effect is that consumer interest in hearing about life insurance seems to have increased.

by Allison Bell, March 19, 2020, ThinkAdvisor

The people in the life and annuity sales and distribution community are facing the same COVID-19 pandemic challenges everyone else is facing: looking for pasta, getting used to working at home every day, and wondering whether that scratchy throat is just a scratchy throat or… a symptom.

They’re also continuing to work to get other people protection against risks of disability, death and outliving retirement savings.

Here are 10 things people in the sales and distribution community are saying about the current, and future, effects of the pandemic, drawn from written commentaries emailed to us, emailed to clients, or distributed through press release services.

1. Consumer interest in life insurance is strong.

Phil Murphy, vice president of insurance at Ethos stated, “This virus has people thinking about their mortality, and life insurance is increasingly top of mind now,” Murphy said.

2. Consumer questions about the impact on life insurers’ financial strength are out there.

Murphy said he believes that, at this point, economic issues and non-COVID-19 underwriting issues, such as opioid use and distracted driving, appear to be a greater concern for life insurers than SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

“Nonetheless, the industry is prepared should claims rise,” Murphy said. “Many companies model and plan for the impact of potential pandemics and adjust their balance sheets accordingly. Regulations require companies to hold significant reserves to manage any claims volatility, and the impact is further mitigated by reinsurers backing up carriers’ claims by taking on a portion of the risk. Ethos looks for financial strength and prudent risk management in all our partners. This allows our customers to be confident that their loved ones are protected.”

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